I’m not sure I like the Thursday night game, especially to kick off the season, but after a summer of mediocre cricket I’m not complaining. Souths are favorites for this one, but you wouldn’t know it from the hype that’s been cranking out of Bondi over the past few days and if I see one more Sonny Bill Williams promo I think I’m going to lose my mind.
But the whistle blows and the bullshit stops and thank the Lord, because footy is back. From the opening whistle the Roosters are on, and new boy James Maloney strolls through a gap bigger than Ben Barba’s bar tab to score. The Roosters look to be in great touch, until Souths string a few passes together and score a very easy try through the evergreen Nathan Merrit.
It’s a scratchy opening quarter, both teams are trying to find their rhythm. The defense is punishing, but the attack lacks fluency. Ill-discipline is killing the Roosters, and Merrit goes over again after a lobbed pass from Greg Inglis that Magic Johnson would have been proud to call his own.
If you were having a drink every time the commentators mentioned Sonny Bill Williams you’d be as blind as Ray Charles after thirty minutes. Sam Burgess runs straight over the top of the most hyped man in rugby league, and a few plays later Chris McQueen picks up the scraps from an Adam Reynolds kick and scores in the corner. 16-4 Souths. The first forty minutes feels more like four, and Souths look good at lemons.
I have no idea what they put in the water in Drewsbury, but I would pay handsomely for a sample. George Burgess is even bigger than older brother Sam, and he rampages over the line. The food bill for Mr and Mrs Burgess must have been astronomical. At 22-4, the climb is getting steeper by the second for the Roosters.
Reynolds cops a nasty elbow and he’s pissing out blood like the Roosters are pissing away this game. Michael Jennings slashes through, but muffs the pass to his supporting players. After a Mitch Aubusson bust, the Roosters try a little razzle, but can’t find the dazzle and Aiden Guerra is held up over the line, and soon after he gives away a penalty. His tenure in my fantasy team is already looking very shaky.
Burgess is an absolute wrecking machine tonight. He flattens Mitchell Pearce in a monster of a shot, and Junior Junior is down for the count. Souths put on a play down the left, and another wonderful touch from Inglis gives Merritt number three. Reynolds kicks a boomer of a goal with bandages covering his eyes, and you can put the glasses down on this one, the Roosters hype machine has crash-landed.
Souths phone in the last 20 minutes, and the match peters out to its inevitable conclusion. The most notable feature is Michael Crocker’s Hells Angels moustache and a slick short ball from Frank-Paul Nuuasala to put Sonny Bill over the line. Souths have been very impressive in a powerful performance. The sounds of the match fade away and the blokish buffoonery of The Footy Show begins. The game is over, but a new season has just begun
Nathan Hindmarsh Medal
3- Sam Burgess
2- Greg Inglis
1 – George Burgess
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